Nigeria recorded N579 billion trade deficit in the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to the latest foreign trade report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for full year 2019, this is the first time the Nigerian economy recorded deficit trade balance in a quarter since 2016 when it witnessed recession.
This is Nigeria’s first negative trade balance since 2016. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the value of Nigeria’s total trade during the fourth quarter of 2019 represents 10.15% increase over the value recorded in third quarter of 2019 and 25.9% increase relative to fourth quarter 2018.
The report showed that the value of the export component (N4.77 trillion) fell by 9.79% against third quarter 2019 but rose by 7.06% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018.
On the other hand, the import component (valued at N5.35 trillion) increased by 37.20% in the fourth quarter against the third quarter, 2019 and 49.34% against fourth quarter, 2018.
“The faster increase in imports resulted in a negative trade balance,” NBS reported.
On an annual basis, the value of total trade in 2019 was recorded at N36.15 trillion, representing a 14.05% increase over 2018.
However, this was lower than 36.86% recorded in 2018 over 2017.
The level of imports stood at N16.96 trillion while exports were valued at N19.19 trillion, resulting in a trade balance of N2.23 trillion.
NBS reported that while imports rose by 28.8% in 2019 over 2018, exports rose by only 3.6%, and the trade balance was 58.4% less than in 2018.